WILMINGTON -- Half a century ago Cape Fear Memorial Hospital opened its doors to provide health care to residents in our area. Since then, it has grown to become one of the top orthopedic hospitals in the country. Dr. Thomas Sinclair was just 43-years-old when he and two other doctors founded Cape Fear Hospital. Dr. Sinclair said, "Well, I was much younger, had more vigor." That was 50 years ago. Since then, the hospital has grown from 40 to 141 beds. Right now, the emergency room is also expanding. Janet Toedt has seen much of it firsthand. While in high school in 1961 she began working as a hospital aid, never knowing she's still be here today. Toedt said, "I knew I would be somewhere in healthcare because that was the dream, but here, no. It just seemed comfortable, liked it and never saw any good reason to leave." As the hospital celebrates its milestone birthday new employees and old share cake and memories of a local hospital that now receives national recognition. New Hanover Regional Medical Center CEO Jack Barto said, "This hospital historically named top ten percent in country in op care." New Hanover Regional Medical Center bought Cape Fear Memorial in 1998 and changed the name to Cape Fear Hospital. It also led to the creation of the New Hanover Health Network. "It's good to know that I'm still around, but I am very happy with the way the hospital has progressed," Sinclair said.
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